Gdansk – Main Town Hall
In place of, where Długa Street gives way to the street, and an elongated market – To the Long Market, the Main Town Hall stands in front of the concert hall of the Schumans' tenement house. Above its gothic-renaissance body with polygonal turrets in the corners and the so-called "curtain wall” in the eastern elevation (from Neptune), covering the roof of the building, there is a magnificent slender tower, which can be seen from the most remote parts of the city. Her helmet is an intricate work of counterbalance to the heavy and massive belfry of St. Mary's Church. The rising domes give the impression of being extremely light, ready to be taken into the air at any moment. On the top of the helmet, there is a gilded statue of King Sigismund Augustus, which, as part of the renovation works in 1950 r. the following inscription was placed on the sash: “Polish working people who are victorious and ruling their homeland, guided by concern for the protection of cultural property inherited from ancestors, restored this statue of King Sigismund Augustus in Gdańsk, recovered for Poland jointly for the bloodshed of the brotherly Soviet Army and the Polish Army. He passes this statue on to posterity. Gdansk 1950 r.” Every hour, town hall carillons chime the melody of Rota.
Symbol of power
The town hall was the seat of the city authorities, as well as its symbol and showcase.
Today it no longer fulfills its proper role, except for special occasions, when ceremonial sessions of the city's hosts are organized here, or when eminent personalities are held. The date of the commencement of the construction of the town hall is unknown. Probably in the years 40. XIV w. he stood small in that place, a two-story brick and wooden building serving the city administration. It is known, however, that in years 1379-1382 the main foundations of today's building were created – foundations, cellars, ground floor, first floor and tower. The author of the design and the main builder was Henryk Ungeradin.
In years 1486-1492 the town hall was expanded, giving it its present shape. W 1561 r. a gilded statue of King Sigismund Augustus was erected as a symbolic token of gratitude to the inhabitants of Gdańsk for issuing the tolerance decree, equal in the rights of Protestants and Catholics.
At that time, the first team in Gdańsk was installed 14 bells ringing.
To year 1552 From time to time, the rooms on the first floor were transformed into wonderful rooms for Polish kings. The town hall was inhabited, among others, by. Kazimierz Jagiellończyk, Aleksander i Zygmunt II August. Reconstruction after a fire in the 16th century. she did, that the town hall gained even more beauty and splendor. The top of the eastern façade was then decorated with an elaborate attic with the coats of arms of Poland, Prussia and Gdańsk, and a sundial that has survived to this day was built in. In years 1766-1768 the sculptor Daniel Eggert made a late-baroque exterior portal with the coat of arms of Gdańsk over the massive stairs. Contrary to heraldic requirements, the lion supporting the coat of arms on the left has its head facing the Golden Gate. Legend explains this fact by the lion's longing for another Polish king. There is a heavy door to the basement under the stair railing, which once served as a municipal sobering-up station. Drunkards were thrown into it, so that they can recover in the cool and stale air. The Museum of the History of the City of Gdańsk is currently located in the Main Town Hall, tel.3014871, open every day. with ex. pt. in hours. 10.00-16.00, nd. 11.00-16.00, the ticket costs 4 PLN, w nd. free admission (ticket office next to the cafe in the long passage to the left of the stairs). The basement also houses the Palowa gallery and a stylish cafe of the same name.
TOWN HALL CLOCK
The mechanism of bells was coupled with the clock mechanism of the tower. Thanks to a special drum, it was possible to program melodies for various occasions. Town hall clock, who walked continuously by near 400 years, stood during the fighting in 1945 r. In one of the town hall towers there was also the so-called bell of poor sinners”, who spoke during the execution of the death sentences. It was removed in the mid-16th century. A memorable date in the history of the town hall was a day 8 July 1552 r "when, to celebrate the visit of Sigismund Augustus, a certain daredevil, having previously stretched the rope from the top of the 80-meter tower to the banks of the Motława River, slid on the skin of the lynx along the rope – and with success.
The City Council was in the town hall, whose members in number 19 councilors and four mayors walked through the ornate doors every day. 0 how many extraordinary events did not threaten the city (wars or revolts). The council debated on taxes, construction, trade, shipping and the like. Council members called themselves Senatus Gedanensls, which irritated the Polish nobility and Polish magnates, who consider the title Senatus to be reserved only for a national parliament. The people of Gdańsk also had their representatives in the city authorities, called the Third Order, who tried to defend the poorest, often succumbing to pressure and manipulation by the Council. Governing a multinational and multireligious city was undoubtedly difficult.
With the history of Gdańsk diplomacy, and thus with the history of the town hall, the name of the Ferber family was very much intertwined. Eberhardt Ferber, called the King of Gdańsk, he was a fascinating and colorful figure, with decisive advantages and disadvantages. W 1525 r. he was driven out of the city by the rebels. He later returned to Gdańsk for a short time. Chased by the hatred of the commoners and the dislike of his fellow councilors, he left the city and lived in Tczew until the end. Eberhardt left behind a great work – the so-called. “The book of Ferber” presenting the history of Prussia from the earliest times to 1529 r. His male offspring proudly upheld the great tradition of the family. The son of Constantine was not enough, that he renovated the Ferbers' tenement house, came to the position of mayor and made a great fortune (he moved around the city in a six-horse carriage – which could be compared to the latest Mercedes model today), it was also hailed – just like his father - the King of Gdańsk. “He reigned” in town by 30 years. People traveling from Poland to the Free City could bring in duty free (except for free circulation goods): 2 l beer, 1 l wina, 25 pieces of cigars or 50 cigarette pieces, 10 matchboxes, 2 bulbs, 1 kg of lard, 0,5 kg will be, 15 eggs and at most 1 l let him.